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Old 10-24-2020, 08:54 PM   #1
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2016 31C Brave; WHERE IS WATER HEATER BYPASS VALVE?

Rushing to winterize our 2016 31C Brave ahead of an historic cold snap, we are trying DIY it for the first time. I blew out the system, so things are probably OK, but we were also planning to run antifreeze through the lines, as I used to do with my Airstream. I found the antifreeze "Winterization Valve #2" under the bed. But where is the hot water tank bypass valve? I've spent all day looking. The owner's manual says it's in a passenger size rear compartment, but I've crawled all through all the compartments and sure can't find it. I could list a dozen other places where it is not as well. HELP!! Thanks in advance, Rich
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Old 10-24-2020, 09:12 PM   #2
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Looking at the plumbing diagrams for the 2016 Brave 31C at 2016 Plumbing Models shows the diverter valve as V-11 on the back of the water heater.
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Old 10-24-2020, 09:27 PM   #3
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OMG. There is no access to the back of the hot water heater short of removing it. Surely they haven't been doing that at Lazydays? Am I misunderstanding that diagram?
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Old 10-25-2020, 05:58 AM   #4
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raspritz-

The parts catalog for your coach shows one or more access panels:

1) Inside the rearmost passenger-side compartment, on the inboard side of the forward wall of that compartment. Or,

2) On the forward wall of the compartment that holds the water heater.

If it works the way I think, you should be able to remove the panel and reach the bypass valve on the back of the water heater from there.

If neither of these pan out, I suggest calling Winnebago and asking them.
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Old 10-25-2020, 11:43 AM   #5
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It is not visible from the inside of any of the compartments. It is not under the refrigerator. It is not visible behind the refrigerator. It is not visible behind the icemaker. It is not under the shower pan. It is not behind any of the drawers. It is not in the compartment under the bed. It is not behind the kitchen sink. It is not under the bathroom sink. It is not in the water heater alcove. What a crock!
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Old 10-25-2020, 11:56 AM   #6
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I admit I haven't looked at your plumbing diagram and I'm not very familiar with the Brave model, so this may be of ZERO help...

The water heater bypass on my 2017 Adventurer is located next to the water pump. There is an antifreeze feed line, the low water drain and the water heater bypass all in a number of valves next to the water pump. On my RV each is labeled.

Don't know if it helps, but I thought I'd mention it.
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Old 10-25-2020, 12:01 PM   #7
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That is a good suggestion. However, on mine the water pump is located under the bed along with the fresh water tank. There is a valve for the freshwater tank drain, and a valve at the pump for the antifreeze tube (very helpfully labeled 'Winterization Valve #2', but nothing else. By inference, we are looking for 'Winterization Valve #1". It is interesting that all of the important valves are clearly labeled like that. But the owner's manual does not show (or clearly say) where they are; it's a weird process of self-discovery. Given what these machines cost, would it be so hard for Winnebago to have a page in the owner's manual showing exactly where key components are? We have literally unscrewed and removed wall panels all over the place, but cannot find the bypass valve.
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Old 10-25-2020, 03:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by l1v3fr33ord1 View Post
raspritz-

The parts catalog for your coach shows one or more access panels:

1) Inside the rearmost passenger-side compartment, on the inboard side of the forward wall of that compartment. Or,

2) On the forward wall of the compartment that holds the water heater.
This deserves a better answer from me. Regarding #1, there is an access panel, but it is screwed on and sealed with caulk, which appears to never have been disturbed. That isn't typically where a user-accessible valve would be. Regarding #2, there is no user-accessible compartment that holds the water heater, though of course the water heater drain and pressure relief valve are under a panel that opens to the outside.
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Old 10-25-2020, 03:33 PM   #9
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You had better get the water heater drained because if you don't and the water in it freezes you are going to be buying a new water heater. Don't ask me how I know that...
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Old 10-25-2020, 03:35 PM   #10
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Oh, the water heater is drained and I blew the entire system out, twice. But I wanted to then run antifreeze through the system (but not the water heater), but to do that I need to find the water-heater bypass valve(s).
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Old 10-25-2020, 03:43 PM   #11
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Yes, you DO NOT want antifreeze in your water heater. If you've blown the entire system out and drained the water heater then just pour antifreeze in the various drains and you'll be golden.
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Old 10-26-2020, 04:42 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raspritz View Post
This deserves a better answer from me. Regarding #1, there is an access panel, but it is screwed on and sealed with caulk, which appears to never have been disturbed. That isn't typically where a user-accessible valve would be. Regarding #2, there is no user-accessible compartment that holds the water heater, though of course the water heater drain and pressure relief valve are under a panel that opens to the outside.
Hmm...

I'd first call Winnebago. If they can't help you, then I'd grab a screwdriver and tube of caulk, and have at that access panel.

But, before I removed it, I'd try and determine where the "other side" of that panel is. A few minutes spent under the coach with a flashlight might answer that question. I put a piece of cardboard on the ground to keep from getting dirty and cut on our bluestone driveway.

On some Winnie models you have to remove a panel that is under the coach, on the bottom of the water heater compartment. Plus, the hole can be so small that it's difficult to do anything useful through it. Now that's really inconvenient!
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Old 10-30-2020, 11:30 AM   #13
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Denouement: I called Winnebago. They were very helpful. The water heater bypass valve is located behind a screwed-down, caulked access panel in a right rear passenger side compartment. Winterization was easy-peasy once we found that $%$#%$ valve. Why in the world did they not use a hinged, slap-closure door with a label like for the other valves or, barring that, note specifically where that valve is on the owner's manual page that locates key valve locations?
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